Computer Repair

Learn about what makes your computer work on the inside and how to fix it. More »

Windows Computer Tips

How to guides for Windows PCs. Tips and tricks to make your Windows computer easier to use. More »

Network Security

Learn how cyber criminals target your computer and ways to stay safe online. More »

Laptop and Mobile Computing

Computer answers about laptop computers and mobile computing. More »

 

Managing Window 10 Hard Drive Partitions Without Third-Party Software

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There are numerous third-party software managers for Microsoft Windows partitions, but the with Windows included Disk Management wizard, none others are needed. You can create, resize, format, and delete partitions and volumes, including changing drive letters.

Disk Management Tool Access

Quickly access the Disk Management wizard by selecting Start and entering “partition”. In option list, select “Create and format hard disk partitions”.

The window pane for Disk Management is in two parts. A list of your computers volumes is shown in the top, while a graphical picture of the disks and volumes are shown on the bottom.

Resizing a Volume

In some cases, you may find it necessary for a volume to be resized. Perhaps, you have one large volume that you’ve decided to divide into two.

Shrink

In either window pane, right-click and choose Shrink Volume. Enough space much is available to shrink a volume. For example, the single volume containing 1 TB with nothing stored upon it, can be shrunk by almost the entire 1 TB.

So, enter the amount you want to be shrunk in the only option available. The current volumes new size after shrinking is also shown in the window. The new volume is now shown on the left side, with the amount of freed unallocated space shown on the right side.

Extend

A computer’s volume may only be extended if it contains unallocated space located to the right.

To open the Extend Volume Wizard, right-click the current volume and select Extend Volume. Then choose Next. The appropriate disk will already be displayed in the Select Disks and the volume size as well as maximum available space. After you choose to Select the amount of space in MB hit Next > Finish.

Creating a New Volume

Free space may be used to create an additional volume if you have unallocated space located on a disk. Begin by right-clicking on the pane with the unallocated space then hit New Simple Volume to open the New Simple Volume Wizard and hit Next. After specifying the volume size, you wish to create, hit Next. Accept the default drive letter in the box, or assign one and hit Next. Prior to using the volume, the partition must be formatted. You can choose to do this right away by choosing a file system and assigning a volume letter followed by Next > Finish.

Delete

It may be necessary at times to delete an existing volume. This space will then return to the unallocated pool. Keep in mind, all data in the volume is deleted when the volume is deleted. This frees up more space.

In either pane of the Disk Management tool window, right-click and hit Delete Volume. A warning window pops up where you must hit Yes to continue.

Managing Windows 10 partitions and volumes are simple with the Disk Management tool.

Setting Up Bluetooth on Your Windows 10 Personal Computer

Bluetooth technology allows users to connect devices wirelessly to a Windows 10 computer. Without the use of USB ports, devices such as keyboard and mouse can be added. Many smartphones can be connected wirelessly through Bluetooth for the use of the computers internet access. Bluetooth technology lets users remove much of the clutter from their desktop by connecting.

Set-up Bluetooth to Computer, Tablet, or Laptop with These Steps:

1. Be sure the Bluetooth device is powered on and ready to pair

The majority of Bluetooth devices are equipped with an ON/OFF switch. However, it is slightly more difficult to tell the Bluetooth device to begin pairing. In some cases, flipping a switch is all that is needs to be done. While others require the user to hold a button down until a light begins to flash.

The Bluetooth device is ready to be paired with another, such as the computer when you notice a flashing light.

2. Start>Settings>Devices

Select the Start button on the personal computer, choose Settings, and select the Devices app shown in the computer settings. A list of devices currently installed is shown on the Devices page.

3. From the left side of the Devices app page, select the Bluetooth option

The personal computer quickly starts to search for any Bluetooth devices located in the nearby vicinity that you want to be connected, otherwise known as paired.

If the device you want to be paired fails to appear, return to Step 1 to ensure the Bluetooth device has been powered on and is ready to be paired. Many devices power themselves off after thirty seconds of waiting to pair and may need to be ready again.

4. Select the name of the Bluetooth device when it appears beneath the Add a Device button

5. If necessary, enter the Bluetooth device’s code while also selecting the Pair button if requested

This is when setup may become slightly complex. Due to security reasons, you are required to prove that you are not a stranger attempting to hack and that you are, in fact, sitting in front of your personal computer. However, to prove your innocence, many Bluetooth devices use somewhat different strategies.

In some cases, users are required to enter a passcode into both the personal computer and the Bluetooth device. Usually, the passcode is located in the devices user’s manual. The passcode must be entered quickly to ensure the other device is still waiting.

Some devices, such as Bluetooth mice, require a small push button located on the underside to be held in during this step. Sometimes, cell phones require users to select a Pair button when identical passcodes appear on both the cellphone and computer.

When unsure, type 0000 and hit enter on the keyboard for a universal passcode.

The name and icon appear in the Setting app once a Bluetooth device is successfully paired.

Make sure to check out some more useful Windows 10 tips to make your PC continue to run strong while giving you even more productivity.

Top-Gaming Laptops for the Year

The old days when only a desktop computer was sufficient enough for PC gaming is long forgotten. For years, personal computers have been the ideal place to game. Gaming laptops offer a number great options for both the casual and mobile gamer. The following list of the top-gaming notebooks can help you find which suits all your needs.

Alienware 17 – From $1299

Alienware 17 bundles a huge 17-inch screen, a sexy astronomical chassis, and a brutal gaming performance into a robust package that is perfect for any gamer in virtual reality. To ensure you get the best gaming experience, configure it with the Nvidia G-Sync 2560 x 1440 display as well as a PCIe SSD. You will still be able to game in VR or at high setting if you choose GeForce GTX 1070 or 1080 GPU.

OS – Windows 10 Home

CPU – 2.9-GHz Intel Core i7-7820HK CPU

Hard Drive Size – 1 TB

RAM – 16 GB

RAM Ungradable to – 32 GB

Display Size – 17.3

Highest Resolution – 2560 x 1440

HP Omen 17 – From $1899

HP Omen 17 is the latest entry of HP’s Omen laptops and offers a 17-inch gaming machine with an extreme and welcomed redesign. Omen 17 exhibits a daring fresh look that is sure to please. HP has combined the GeForce Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU, a ridiculously fast SSD, as well as the tough Intel Core i7 processor. The end result is a gaming laptop capable of supplying an extraordinary performance whether you are gaming or just browsing the web.

OS – Windows 10 Home

CPU – 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor

Hard Drive Size – 2 TB 5400 rpm SATA

RAM – 32GB

Display Size – 17.3

Highest Resolution – 3840 x 2160

Razor Blade (2017) – From $1899

The Razor Blade (beginning price at $1899) just received more power. This gaming laptop made the leap to Kaby Lake, the 7th-generation of Intel’s line of processors. This power-up promises greater performance as well as power efficiency. Combine Kaby Lake with Nvidia Pascal VR-ready GPU; stunning display, gorgeous keyboard and a chassis that is sleek and lightweight; and the end result would be one of the thinnest, powerful gaming laptops on the market. Whether using the Razor Blade to game or work, you will be ready to take on the best.

OS – Windows 10 Home

CPU – 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ

Hard Drive Type – PCIe SSD

Hard Drive Size – 256 GB

RAM – 16 GB

Display Size – 14

Highest Resolution – 3840 x 2160

Depending on your needs and your budget, you can end up with a gaming powerhouse ready to take care of all your gaming needs. Of course, here at IQ Computer Services, we can always build a brand new gaming computer or laptop with the specifications you’d like it to have. Speak with us today to learn even more! 

Common Features with Linux and Windows

Windows and Linux have many common features allowing both operating systems to effective and complete. The following are some of the biggest similarities shared between the two:

Alt + Tab Keys

Microsoft introduced Alt + Tab key feature back with Windows 1.0 in their year 1985. Back then, this feature was called “CoolSwitch” however it was later changed in Windows 95 to “Task Switcher” and for Windows Vista “Windows Flip”. Thanks to the usefulness of this feature, Linux later incorporated a version of their own into their operating system.

Users Account

For both productivity and organization, Linux and Windows give great control with user accounts. Users can create a different account for work, home, play, and also one for administration to make managing their accounts simple. This is a great feature for both operating systems.

Task View

It tends to be always said that one operating system steals features from another. Linux took Alt + Tab from Windows, but Task View began with Linux.

Linux users were given awesome features for window management in 2006 with Compiz. This included the ability to spread any open windows across the screen and switching between them easily with just a click. Something similar was introduced in Windows 10 with the Task View feature. Users can get a quick look using shortcut Windows key + Tab. This feature is indispensable for users with several active apps. 

Cross-Platform

Software availability is one of the larger differences between Linux and Windows. Many commercial games and business apps run on the Windows operating system only. Also, there are many exclusive apps for Linux. However, this exclusiveness no longer matters for many users with cross-platform software.

For the rare instances when an app is found that is available on one platform, an alternative is easily found.

Desktop OS and Server OS

Many people think of Windows as a desktop OS while Linux is more for servers. In fact, these OS can be used for both purposes.

Since the year 2003 Windows Server has been used and has upgrades approximately every 4 years. Windows Server 2016 is Microsoft latest version. Several businesses use this version of Windows Server with great stability.

Additionally, many people use Linux for only writing papers or email and not as a server.

Vulnerabilities with Security

First and foremost, security with Windows is better than what many believe. Also, many people assume Linux is more secure than what it actually is.

Yes, Linux is safer than Microsoft Windows. Additionally, the amount of malware Windows computers receive has reduced in recent years.

With effective antivirus software, both these operating systems share the same amount of security issues.

Whether you’re a Windows user or Linux, you are sure to find needed features.

Is RAM Capacity or RAM Speed Most Important

Rather than investing in a new PC, we always strive for our customers to upgrade their existing PC. Not only do you save money, the amount of e-waste is reduced. So, having some knowledge of computers is needed when you want to save money. RAM is one item we recommend upgrading instead of throwing money away on a new PC.

After having your PC inspected, RAM seems to be the culprit for its sluggishness. But, now what? Does RAM capacity or RAM speed need to be increased?

Reason Computers Need RAM

RAM can be thought of as short-term memory used to store files your processor needs often and quickly. Your PC responds instantly when this space is utilized, instead of many seconds. The few seconds saved makes a computer feel more powered rather than old and worn down.

More RAM is typically needed when your PC struggles opening programs you need. This is due to tasks being unloaded by your PC from fast RAM onto your computer’s hard drive. The hard drive may have lots of storage, however, it has slower speeds.

Capacity for RAM is measured in megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes. RAM size increase decreases the chance of your PC hard drive being used to store these temporary files. However, once enough RAM is installed in the PC to fit your needs, more RAM added would not be beneficial for speed improvement. In this case, faster RAM than what is already installed may be what’s needed to improve speed. This is true even with the same amount of RAM installed.

RAM’s Speed Metrics

Latency and frequency are metrics used to figure RAM speed.

Megahertz or MHz is how frequency is measured. The bigger the number the better. However, the lower number is better for latency; which is a sequence of numbers, such as 4-4-4-12.

After meeting your needs with RAM capacity, it might be more beneficial to lower the latency and increase frequency rather than adding more RAM.

Which is more important: speed or capacity?

RAM capacity is only beneficial to a certain point. Once there, a demising return is experienced. In general, unless you’re a gamer or demanding user, more than 8GB is not necessary. However, if you’re a gamer or demanding user, having a larger capacity of RAM, no more than 16GB might be needed. Although, this is not always the case. Less latency and more frequency may be needed to make a noticeable difference in your PC.

When it comes down to it, there is no “one answer fits all”. Talking to a computer specialist would be best. Also, keep in mind your PC motherboard has limitations with speed and capacity of RAM.

How Much RAM is Really Needed for Your Gaming Computers

Not long ago, 4GB of RAM worked great for most daily tasks and gaming. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

Having too little RAM on a gaming computer, such as 4GB, can cause many of the games you wish to play now, not to run or not run well. For example, 8GB RAM is a required minimum listed for Andromeda. This amount of RAM is needed for most games played today. Even when a minimum requirement of only 4-6GB of RAM is stated, it is recommended to use 8GB to ensure smooth play due to background programs running.

With that said, it is easy to come by 8GB RAM. Much of the pre-built computers ship with an amount of 8GB RAM or more. Furthermore, building your own system, kits for 8GB are affordable.

Higher Amounts of RAM

Is 16GB RAM useful on your gaming computer? What about 32GB? Or, would it be a waste of money? How much is too much?

A robust gaming system should have 16GB RAM installed for it to be considered at a sweet spot. This amount should be plenty to multitask and run all of the today’s games smoothly. If you enjoy or use live streaming often, 16GB should be enough for this also. Streaming and running a game on one of your monitors, while playing music, chatting with others, and anything else you want to do on another monitor, is a list of tasks that would definitely benefit from some headroom with extra RAM.

What about 32GB?

However, what about going even higher with the amount of RAM? Is it too much to install 32GB? Overall, this answer would be yes. One reason only, is why 32GB would be needed for an average user, and that would be for future game readiness. That’s it!

When it comes to gaming specs only, 16GB RAM is more than enough, with many games able to run fine with just 8GB. Framerates basically showed no difference in gaming performance tests performed by TechSpot, when comparing 8GB and 16GB. Tests ran had the games running as well as 65 open tabs on Chrome and basically had identical framerates.

Generally speaking, your computing can be made more enjoyable with more RAM, and 32GB is not advised against. However, much of this RAM would be wasted when you want an improved framerate. Upgrading your graphics card makes a greater difference than upgrading from 8GB RAM to 32GB.

Of course, one answer is not enough for everyone. But, unless you are running many virtual machines at the same time as gaming with graphical settings high, going beyond 16GB is unnecessary. Happy Gaming!

For future reference, make sure to know what to expect when it comes to recognizing the signs of failing RAM in your system.

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The Top Apps for Mac OS X

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Are you new to the Mac world and are looking for the best way to make the most out of it? We have compiled a list of the most useful and essential apps for Mac to help you along the way!

Bartender 2

For Mac users that utilize many apps, Bartender 2 allows you to stay organized. This amazing app lets you organize different aspects of your Macs interface by letting users choose which apps show as well as the way they are arranged in the menu bar. Bartender 2 is available for $15.

Alfred

By far, Alfred is the favorite for Mac application launchers. In addition to launching applications, Alfred is useful for many more things as well. Such as web searches executions, performing calculations, locating word definitions, and much more. Alfred app is available for free.

Google Chrome

The best web browser for Mac is Google Chrome. It is faster, has loads of extensions and plug-ins available, functional, and can sync everything among multiple devices. This includes bookmarks, recent searches, and open tabs. With the ability of instant search and customization, Chrome is the more favorable web browser compared to Safari or Firefox. Google Chrome is available for free.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a favorite among Mac users. This great little app allows helps keep your computer awake by stopping it from going into sleep mode, auto-dim, or starting your screensaver. Caffeine is great when you will not be touching the mouse or keyboard for a long period, such as when reading long web pages or documents. Caffeine is available for free.

Evernote

Evernote is the best app for taking notes. This app is a great way to remain organized and is simple to use. Evernote syncs with almost all Web services and has many add-ons and browser extensions available. Evernote is available for free with upgrade options.

The Unarchiver

The Unarchiver is ideal for users that download all types of archived files. This great utility can open most but not all file formats including RAR (including v5), Zip, 7-zip, Gzip, Tar, and Bzip2. It also has the capability of opening older file formats as well including DiskDoubler, ARJ. LZH, and ARC, StuffIt. The Unarchiver is available for free.

Pocket

Pocket is an excellent tool app that allows users to “pocket” or store videos, articles, as well as web pages to view later. This great app is also available to access the stored items while offline to let you view everywhere. With Pocket, you can easily share items you stored. Pocket is available for free.

Mac apps allow users to take control of their computer experience. These apps along with many others available simplify several aspects of your Mac. Learn when it is time to replace your current Mac for an upgraded version.

Intelligent Reasons Why External Drives Are Still Needed

External hard drive can provide additional storage solutions.

External hard drives can provide additional storage solutions.

Why Do You Still Need That External Drive?

There has been an incredible increase of storage options available which are cloud-based. For subscribers of Office 365, they can store up to 1 TB with the use of Microsoft’s OneDrive. Google offers 100 GB of cloud-based storage for a time period of two years when you purchase Chromebook. This is just a few of the enormous list of options available for cloud-based storage.

You may be asking yourself; with these many options available to me, is there a reason why external drives are still needed? The answer to that question is definitely yes.

Intelligent Reasons for Having One

Backup of Data

The first most obvious reason is data backup. As most computer users know the importance of backing up their data. They understand the possibility of accidents. Computers fall, drinks spill, motherboards burn out from power surges, the list of mishaps is endless.

Sure, you can use cloud storage for data backup, however, there are a few downfalls to this option. First, you must consider costs as well as data caps. Additionally, the time needed to efficiently backup your data is consuming. During the several hours used to upload your data, due to the drainage of bandwidth, your usage on the computer will be limited.

Additional Security

One of the most significant reasons why an external hard drive is still needed with today’s technology is security. There is always the possibility of someone stealing your password: additionally, the company servers of the cloud storage you chose could become a victim of hacking. In either situation, your private data is put at risk to be stolen and used by criminals.

Access Offline and Ability to Travel

Another intelligent reason to use an external hard drive is offline access as well as portability. The majority of external hard drives today are extremely small, approximately the size of your wallet. Due to this small size, they are ideal to bring along with you while away from home. This comes in handy when internet service is unavailable for an extended period of time.

Dependability

Almost all cloud-based servers have dealt with issues in the past where customers storage was unavailable for access. If this happens, how will you retrieve your data needed for work, school, or other important business? External hard drives do not pose this problem and are simple to use.

Cost-Effective

In most cases, the needed amount of storage space to backup data equals more than the amount in which cloud-based providers offer for free. This means you will incur monthly or yearly expenses to store your data. However, costs for an external hard drive is much lower and do not require an ongoing fee.

If you still feel cloud-based storage is right for you, consider the use of an external hard drive for a second backup to ensure the safety of your delicate data. 

Is There Malware on Your Mac? Different Ways It May Have Got Infected

Malware can be harmful, if not prevented.

Malware can be harmful, if not prevented.

Is Your Mac Infected?

If you’re a Mac owner, you probably already know it is more difficult for a Mac to become infected with malware than a Microsoft Windows PC. However, as more people begin to use Mac’s, it has become more common than ever for your Mac to be infected with a virus. Third-party software is the most common way a Mac becomes infected.

Some common ways for your Mac to become compromised include the following:

Java Browser Extension Enabled

One way for your Mac to become infected is by installing Java as well as its browser extension. With this extension, you are able to run Java written software from within your browser. Keep in mind, this is not the same a JavaScript.

The good news is, you likely will no longer use websites which rely on Java browser plugin with today’s modern technology. Many browsers have already dropped the use of Java plugins. To disable the use in Apple’s Safari browser head to Preferences > Security > Plug-in Settings and uncheck the relevant boxes. In many cases, it is totally safe to uninstall Java and its browser extension.

Pirated Software Download

Downloading pirated software is one of the easiest ways for your Mac or Windows PC to become infected. Due to Apple’s OS being considered quite safe, the majority of individuals do not have a virus scanner on their Mac. However, whenever you install the software you open your Mac up to third-parties. And by downloading pirated software, you have no way to know if it has been tampered with. Stay safe by buying software from legitimate sources or use free alternatives.

Unpatched Flash

Adobe’s Flash browser plugin has been the cause of numerous security issues. The good news is with modern technology such as HTML5 which performs the same job as Flash, it has been becoming more obsolete.

Google Chrome has a Flash version which is sandboxed, allowing it to run in a without harming your PC by keeping it contained in a secure environment. However, if you are a Safari user, you can have the browser ask when running websites with Flash by going to Preferences > Security >Plug-in Settings.

Keep in mind, even the most updated version of Flash can pose a risk to your Mac. The best way to protect yourself is by disabling Flash in Safari. Go to Preferences > Security >Plug-in Settings and uncheck Flash.

Apple Security

The pattern of Mac infections shows the most common way to put your PC at risk is with third-party software. Apple has always been excellent with their security, but by using additional security software, you can add another layer of protection to your Mac.